Something to be proud of New Zealand

12 04 2010

Apparently New Zealand roads are unsafe, and our drivers are aggressive and dangerous. The German Embassy is considering issuing  a travel advisory telling it’s citizens that it is unsafe to cycle in New Zealand. Two German cycle tourists have been killed in the last year. Here is the story in the Dominion post.

And back in Adelaide, yet another cyclist has been killed on the roads and the comments are once again interesting, because apparently it is all the cyclists faults because they just don’t get out of the way of the speeding truckies and motorists who think they own the roads.

Contrast this to this blog post in the Netherlands. It’s in Dutch of course, but look at the photo. Between Zuidhorn and Groningen this cycle lane is being replaced with a better one, because it isn’t good enough. In New Zealand we can only dream of having anything half as good as what isn’t good enough for the Dutch.

So there you go. If you live in Germany, save on the airfare, and have a cycling holiday in Holland. It’s safer, and you’ll be saved of all the embarassing Lord of the Rings references too. Afterwards in your holiday photos you can photoshop in some mountains and just pretend you came to New Zealand. It could save your life.

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2 responses

13 04 2010
David Hembrow

I covered another fietsroute+ on my blog in English a couple of years ago. This is the one which I use on my commuting route. I usually do around 40 km/h on it as shown here.

Things like this are popping up all over the country. In fact, you can see the Zuidhorn to Groningen section as a proposed route on the map here.

16 04 2010
David F

It’s difficult to believe that NZ drivers are that agressive… I’ve just returned to Melbourne after a week travelling (by car) around the top of the South Island and I was amazed at how relaxed the driving is there. I was also very impressed by how many bicyles I saw on the road.

This was a recon trip for our families possible relocation and I was fairly well impressed. Although there is obviously some room for improvement I found towns such as Nelson and the City of Christchurch to have quite reasonable infrastructure for bicycles and there seemed to be a broader cross section of the community travelling on bike than you would find in most places here in Australia.

I was blown away by the abundance of bicycle lanes (in comparrison to my home in Darwin), however I did notice that lanes would peter out to nothing which would present some difficult situations for riders and drivers.

The main difference though seemed to be that speed limits were lower in NZ and the drivers weren’t so Gung-ho as they are here in Aus. If you cycle on the road here you can get a real sense of malice from drivers.

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